Genesis of an idea continued

Saturday mornings are generally the only time I get to stay in bed past 6:30am. Notice how I did not say sleep, the kids are usually up around 6:00 to 6:30am, so sleep is pretty much impossible once they are up. But on this particular Saturday (Shabbos) morning, I did not have to get out of the bed until 7:30am so I was wallowing in the bed and I started thinking about the shell bowl and the next thing I know, my muse tapped my head and the ideas started to flow.

Wavy lines start to blur your vision as we go back in time….I was relaxed with my head on the cool side of the pillow half asleep when that magic time started. Thinking….how do I tie the shells to the bowl? Idea grenade goes off! Shells – ocean, what’s in the ocean? Fish! Fish? Yes, David J Marks did fish in metal leaf. How do I make them stand out against the cherry? Color, color… black! What fish is black? Killer whale! Killer whale done in Eskimo style. How do shells tie to killer whale or Eskimo art? No. New Zealand Maori style. Yes! Shells work with that culture. Maori style whales and turtles! But how? On the lower part of the bowl paint it black, then use frisket to make black animals with white or silver leaf accents in a copper leaf ocean background. It ties! It is another piece for my Tiki series. Yes! Yes….. ye….sleep…..

That’s pretty much how it happened in a span of a couple of minutes.

The execution:

Making the design in metal leaf is pretty straight forward, but it just takes time. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Draw a line around the bowl to be the top edge of the water
  2. Paint the lower section black with acrylic paint
  3. Press the Frisket on the black part of the bowl
  4. Draw the whales and turtle
  5. Use an X-acto knife to remove everything around the animals and remove that frisket
  6. Apply sizing then cover with copper leaf for the ocean water.
  7. Cut out the designs within the animals with knife to remove the frisket
  8. Apply sizing and put silver leaf in those sections
  9. Peal off the last of the frisket – Viola!

Frisket applied and image drawn

You get a basic idea of the process






This is all done in small sections at a time and I have to allow for cure time. As of right now, I am still working on Step 8.  I hope to have this part done by Sunday, then I will use spray lacquer on this part of the bowl to protect the metal leaf. No chemical patinas for this project. I will just let the copper get a tad darker on its own.

For me, the next part is the hard part. And what is that? Well you are going to have to wait for that. I have an idea as to what I am going to do, but perhaps my muse will drop by pillow again and give me a better ideal during the Sukkot holiday when I get to stay in bed longer.

stay tuned……


About yaakov

Husband, Abba, Furniture Maker, Turner, Bookseller, and all around working stiff.
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